Some updates

Looking back at some of my old posts, I’ve realized that a few things haven’t turned out exactly the way I expected them to.

The weather. Has been magnificent. I haven’t worn long sleeves in weeks. The UK is in the middle of what is predicted to be at least a month-long heat wave. Make that “heat wave.” It’s apparently pretty toasty down in London, but here it means we’ve had day after day of temperatures in the 70s, calm breezes, and endless sunshine. People keep telling me that the summer is never like this. I am choosing not to believe them. (I think that global warming could be really good for Scotland.)

The sun is shining, and I have two drying racks full of clothes sitting in my living room right now. The clothes dryer really heats the place up, you know. And there’s proper insulation in buildings here, so even when the outside temperature drops at night, the inside temperature doesn’t drop very much. (And somebody won’t let me open the windows too far overnight because he is afraid that a seagull will fly in. Seriously.)

I haven’t gotten lost in a long time. Days, even.

Playing taiko here felt very strange the first couple of weeks. And I still get nostalgic checking out Tatsumaki Taiko’s performance photos on Facebook. But it’s pretty incredible that I’ve gotten to bang on enormous Japanese drums in two countries that are decidedly not Japan. It’s a nice link between my old and new lives.

I’ve gotten used to the coins. I tend to keep it simple on the bus, since I feel a bit pressured to pay and get all the way up the stairs before the bus starts moving too quickly, but I unload all my very small coins to pay for playgroup. As a bonus, then it feels free (which it is not).

I do miss hot dogs. Also bagels, the agricultural bounty of the Central Valley, and San Francisco-style burritos. On the other hand, here I can get the best strawberries I have ever eaten, macaroni pie (macaroni and cheese in a pie crust), and real Italian salami. And I have a huge bottle of hot sauce in my fridge. So I’m doing okay.


3 thoughts on “Some updates

  1. Liz

    I’m a bit of a hot dog aficionado…avoid the ones they sell at the supermarket that come in a jar or can (what?!?!) and also don’t bother with the “French-style” hot dogs you can buy from the crepe truck in the Stockbridge market. The pub chain that owns both the one across the street from my house and the one across from my job just added hot dogs to the menu, though I haven’t sampled yet.
    HOWEVER, we recently tried a “Rock Dogs” hot dog from the stand in the Meadows, and in spite of its relatively hefty £3.50 price tag, it did NOT disappoint. They do a variety of hot dogs and other sausages, and have events (barbecues etc.) out of Brew Dog Brewery down in the Cowgate. Take the kid to any Meadows playground (there are at least 3 in there) and then treat yourself to a rock dog. :)
    Regarding the “heat wave”, 70s and 80s temps are big news here. I was mocking it the other day, but the truth is by now I’ve just about had it…yes it’s great that our clothes are drying faster but the country is almost as ill-equipped to handle heat/humidity as it is to manage snow and ice in the winter. :P It is not cool working in a stuffy building and I’m just glad I don’t live/work in London where it’s infinitely worse (tube + no AC = nightmare). I learned today that although the office building’s manager would have to put heat on if people complained of being too cold, there is absolutely no requirement to crank up the ventilation (AC? yeah right) if everyone is too hot. A child who came to see me yesterday got so nauseated by the heat that I had to take him outside. :P We also just got new windows in our apartment that are awesome in that they are clean, can be cleaned again, block noise, insulate our home, and don’t create drafts that cause our doors to suddenly slam…but on the downside, are not designed for a “heat wave” because to tilt-open, that just creates a few inches of open space, and to turn-open…well, I actually don’t think it’s completely out of the realm of possibility for a seagull to come visit. ;)
    You’ll get much more used to the coins. Remember, buses take pennies and 2p coins! I usually just have exact change in my hand ready for when the bus pulls up, but I appreciate that with a toddler and all his stuff, that option may not be available to you. ;)
    Okay, I’m rambling. When am I gonna see you again so I can just ramble in person? ;)

    1. lifebeginsatzero Post author

      Hot dogs at the Meadows!!! I now know what I’m doing on Monday. (I’ve been spending a lot of time in various parks in this weather. It’s been really rough.)

      Hmmm.. are you free on Sunday? :)

  2. Liz

    Hmm…can’t commit. :/ Maybe for part of the day?
    We have tickets to a Jazz Fest show in the evening and apart from that, theoretically supposed to be packing boxes in preparation for the renovation. But maybe for a little while, if you thought you might be able to come anywhere in this neck of the woods? There’s a playground nearby and you could either come by car or take the 23 bus from Stockbridge directly there…? Decent cafes nearby there as well…let me know :)


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